Thoughts On The Liberty Dollar Debacle
By Brandon Smith of Alt-Market.com
I was in the midst of the Save America Convention in Tampa, Florida when I heard, first, that Libya was under bombardment by the UN (led by U.S. forces), and, that Bernard von NotHaus of Liberty Dollar had been convicted of “counterfeiting”. It was a stressful day, to say the least. For those not familiar with the Liberty Dollar incident, In November of 2007, federal officials raided the group’s headquarters nestled in a strip mall and seized all documents and the gold and silver that backed up the paper certificates and digital currency being distributed through the Liberty Services website. The Justice Department asserted that Von NotHaus was placing gold and silver coins, along with precious metals currency, into circulation with the purpose of mixing them “into the current money of the United States.”
To be clear, NotHaus made some serious mistakes, including pressing his coins to look semi-similar to standard federal currency, and also using language which could be interpreted to insinuate that his currency was “legal tender”. There are many barter networks in the U.S. that use gold and silver that do not have these kinds of problems with the government simply because they are careful not to make the same blunders.
However, it wasn’t the conviction itself that struck me, so much as the language of the prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Anne Tompkins, in her post trial statement. Let me reprint my favorite parts for you here:
“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism,”
“While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,”
“We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”
Some in the Liberty Movement have interpreted this statement to be a warning to all of us that the Federal Government is declaring open season on alternative currencies. Others see it as a preliminary move towards the confiscation of all privately owned gold and silver. And yet others see the statement as dire prophecy, now cowering behind their 1040’s at the thought of the smallest barter transactions, as if the IRS is the all seeing eye of Sauron waiting to catch them in the act of trading apples for oranges and sending agents to crush them with their slimy orc-like fists of doom.
Perhaps I am the only one, but in contrast, I see the prosecutor’s statement as an expression of blatant fear. I’ll explain, but first, let’s dissect the nonsensical and irrational idiocy behind the saber rattling of Anne Tompkins.
First, U.S. prosecutors prevailed over NotHaus on a conviction of COUNTERFEITING! Unless I am confused, and he was using his silver currency to fashion a McGuyver-esque thermonuclear sound money bomb, it is more than just a stretch to try to equate his actions with domestic terrorism. In fact, the post trial statements of Tompkins are so insane it makes one question her level of paranoia, and perhaps her prescription drug habits. After finding no obvious hint of crazy eyed drool mouth in her photographs, I realized that perhaps she was not a zealot, but simply a messenger.
My feeling (and this is only an intuitive notion) is that Tompkins had little to do with the writing of those statements, or had much “coaching” from the Department of Homeland Security, which has been expanding its absurd definition of terrorism to include almost anyone who does not agree with the philosophies of establishment elites and corporate global banks. Even returning military veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been listed as possible domestic terrorist threats. Why not proponents of gold and silver?
What we see here is the not so subtle conditioning of average Americans towards categorizing certain innocuous behaviors as being related to possible criminal or terrorist motives. Owning guns is anti-social, and you are a naughty bad person for liking big boom boom stick. What’s that? A pocket Constitution!? Didn’t McVeigh or one of the 9/11 hijackers carry around something like that? You have a survival garden? Hmm, that sounds fishy. I better call the FDA and make sure everything you’re doing is on the up and up. You want to trade gold and silver? Privately?! That’s obviously “black market” barter, and you are the reason the economy is so unpleasant. I don’t get as many food stamps and free big brother goodies as I used to, and I blame you and your dastardly sense of self sufficiency! The IRS should have your head! And so it goes…
So, I promote private barter networking and precious metals to safeguard communities from impending inflationary crisis, and am therefore a “non-violent domestic terrorist which represents a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country”? How does Tompkins or anyone else, with a straight face, declare alternative markets and sound money as a danger to economic stability, when the U.S. economy has already been annihilated by the derivatives bubble conjured by international banks and the private Federal Reserve? What about the constant fiat injections by our central bank which have created an atmosphere prime for dollar devaluation and hyperinflation? Why in the hell hasn’t the U.S. Attorneys Office or Anne Tompkins placed the terrorist label squarely on the doorstep of JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, or the Fed itself? I mean, if we are going to start equating the destabilization of the economy with white Al-Qaeda, then let’s be fair at least. Global banks have had far more to do with our financial downfall than gold or silver trade ever will.
What about the follow up chest beating proclamations of “infiltration and disruption” of any organization which seeks to “challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government”?
Wow. Isn’t that comment loaded with bile and stupidity. To begin with, if anyone, including Tompkins, can show me how our current form of government is legitimately “democratic” while both major parties are headed by globalists and corporatists who promote the same exact ideology and support the same exact legislation, while refusing to represent even a minority of Americans beyond the elite, then I welcome them to try. (By the way, Tompkins, I know they didn’t teach you this in public school, and probably not in college either, but America was founded as a REPUBLIC, not a democracy.)
If the IRS or anyone else wants to “infiltrate” barter markets or gold and silver organizations and attempt to record every chicken egg or gallon of milk traded, then I welcome them to try. Please, expend all your precious energies in a futile attempt to chill barter economies or sound money movements. We would like nothing better. Why? Because you cannot stop barter networks from forming. They are inevitable. Every culture in history which has seen a severe economic implosion has reverted to barter, trade, gold, and silver to counter the resulting poverty and lack of mainstream commerce. The need for survival will far outweigh the populace’s fear of government reprisal. That is simply the nature of man. The only difference in respect to the Liberty Movement is that we are working to preempt collapse with supporting networks of commodity trade and community barter. We are not working to “undermine” the current economy, we are simply preparing for its eventual fall, and allowing for the safety of cities and states across the country. Why is this considered devious behavior? Why would the government react with such vitriol, not towards Liberty Dollar, but to the very concept of alternative currencies and economies? Because it is something they cannot control…
Ultimately, what I see hidden in Tompkins statements are the wringing hands of bureaucracy, sweaty and shaking with a fear of the unknown. When people are desperate, and dominated by emotions, they become predictable, and this is exactly the kind of mindset governments like to insert into the collective unconscious. There are only two paths for any society in the midst of a full spectrum crisis; beg for more government and more dependency, even if that government created the crisis in the first place, or, move away from the ailing government, and towards independence. Today, in the face of possibly the greatest economic catastrophe in the history of the world, Americans are beginning to show an aptitude for independence. We are becoming unpredictable, and this frightens government. If our cities and states become fully sovereign, with our own insulated commerce, our own industries, our own food sources, our own defense, and, god forbid, our own currency, then we may then demand a government which actually represents us, and our Constitutional foundations, instead of global banks, for a change. They are moving to call us terrorists, because they truly are terrified of alternative market systems. They have tipped their hand. Which means, we must keep doing exactly what we are already doing.
We do not live in a country built upon the rule of law anymore. Corrupt leaders have no concern for law as a means of balance, only as a means of dominance. Laws therefore change upon the whims of tyrants to fit whatever goals they happen to hold at the edge of the moment. Unjust laws do not deserve the respect or the compliance of the masses. At bottom, we are human beings. Truth and conscience take precedence over all things. If a law does not follow the inherent auspices of freedom and integrity, if it does not serve the true best interests of the people, then it should not be followed. Period. This goes for any law, current or pending, which would force Americans to abandon their ability to personally protect themselves, their families, and their communities, from financial disaster. I leave you with my final statement given at the Save America Convention to drive the point home:
“Today, we stand at a bottleneck in the flow of history; a nexus of events which challenge our values, our resolve, and our better natures. Our deepest social and political beliefs will be called into question, our sacred principles of individuality and freedom will face an onslaught of malicious legislation and misguided cultural doubt. These principles always do in the face of global crisis.
To waver is not an option. To retreat is unimaginable. To compromise our core, in this kind of conflict, is to welcome defeat. At bottom, we live in an age of wills that only the strongest of hearts can endure.
As overwhelming as these kinds of struggle can be, as frightening as this kind of responsibility sounds, these are also days of truth and providence. Opportunities to right so many past wrongs in the single breath of an era are rare and precious. Men dream of living in the midst of such moments.
As a people, Americans have been challenged. The test is not only one of might, but one of honor and benevolence. How far are we willing to go to not only save ourselves, but to save each other? What are we really fighting for? Personal survival? The temporary stability and solace of the present? Or something more?
Do we intend to hide away, to merely eek out an existence at the dawn of economic and political catastrophe, or to stand steel faced and immovable in the very wake of the storm? To return to our foundations and hold fast. To not only subsist, but to prosper. To leave for the future something truly better than what we now have.
The most powerful position of defiance we can commit to as a movement is to teach average Americans to stand on their own. To become the purveyors of their own destinies. For me, what we call the Liberty Movement is not only a political entity but a vital philosophy driven by decentralized action and intensified by the growing uniqueness of its participants. It is the anti-thesis of globalization, which aspires only to diminish and dominate the individual, and replace sovereign thought with weak minds and absolute tyranny.
Ultimately, the greatest leaders do not actually seek to lead, but to teach. They do not seek power for themselves; they seek to empower the common man. This is an act of real survival, for a country of steadfast individuals is unconquerable. It is a place without fear.”